Arizona Knife Laws

Updated for 2023

Arizona is known for its permissive stance on knife ownership and carry laws, making it one of the most lenient states in the U.S. when it comes to knives. This guide provides an in-depth look at the legal landscape surrounding knives in Arizona, referencing key statutes and legal cases to offer a thorough understanding of what is permissible within the state.

Statewide Statutes and Legal Precedents

Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) serve as the backbone for knife regulations in the state. Notable sections include:

  • ARS 13-3101: Definitions – This section provides the legal definitions of terms related to weapons, including knives, within Arizona law.
  • ARS 13-3102: Misconduct involving weapons – Outlines unlawful acts involving weapons, including the improper use of knives.
  • ARS 13-3112: Concealed weapons; qualification; application; permit to carry – Details the requirements and process for obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon, which may include certain types of knives.
  • ARS 13-3120: State preemption – Establishes that the state has the sole authority to regulate the carrying of knives, preventing local governments from enacting their own regulations that would conflict with state law.
  • ARS 13-3105: Minors prohibited from carrying or possessing firearms – While primarily addressing firearms, this statute is relevant to the discussion of minors carrying weapons, including knives in certain contexts.
  • ARS 13-3107: Unlawful discharge of firearms – Although specific to firearms, this statute can be referenced in discussions about the use of weapons, including knives, in unlawful manners.
  • ARS 13-3108: Firearms regulated by state; state preemption; violation; classification; definition – Similar to ARS 13-3120, this statute reinforces the concept of state preemption in weapon regulation.

Legal cases that have shaped the interpretation of these statutes include:

  • State v. Ramsey (2015): Clarified the definition of a “deadly weapon” and its relation to knife carry in Arizona.
  • State v. Moerman (2016): Addressed the nuances of knife possession and the intent behind carrying a knife.

Updated Content Reflecting Current Laws

As of the latest available information, Arizona allows the carry of all types of knives, both open and concealed, for individuals over the age of 21. This includes pocket knives, fixed-blade knives, swords, and more exotic types such as Karambits and Balisongs. The state does not impose restrictions on blade length or the number of edges a knife may have.

User Intent: Practical Information on Knife Carry

For those seeking practical advice on carrying knives in Arizona, it’s important to note the following:

  • Disclosure to law enforcement is required when carrying a concealed knife other than a pocket knife.
  • Knives on school grounds or college campuses are prohibited, regardless of the type or size.

Extended Q&A to Address User Queries

Q: What defines a pocket knife under Arizona law, and are there any blade length restrictions? A: ARS 13-3101 defines a pocket knife as a folding knife with a blade length of less than 4 inches, which is not considered a deadly weapon and can be carried by citizens of any age.

Q: How do recent legal cases impact the carry of knives in Arizona? A: Cases such as State v. Ramsey and State v. Moerman have provided clarity on what constitutes a deadly weapon and the legal implications of carrying a knife with the intent to use it unlawfully.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the prohibition of knives on school grounds? A: The law is strict on this matter, with no knives of any kind allowed on school premises, including pocket knives.

Conclusion and Legal Compliance

Arizona’s knife laws are designed to respect the rights of individuals while maintaining public safety. The statutes and cases cited here offer a framework for understanding these laws, but as legal interpretations can evolve, it is crucial to stay informed of any changes. Always verify the current laws and consult with a legal professional to ensure compliance and to understand the implications of carrying a knife in Arizona.